I think Stephan King is a genius
It scared me!
The voices of the demon!
The way the sound was quiet and then boomed loud like a monster popping out of your closet!
Classic, Classic, Classic
Father Karras, his insight and attention to detail make him a fantastic narrator, while his weaknesses make him a perfect hero.
Yes, it was hard not to, but sleep is inevitable.
William Peter Blatty's voice was made for this book!
Often I cringe at the idea of an author narrating his own work, but Mr. Blatty reads his book very well and he has a rich voice that seems to have been made for narration. I read the book when I was a kid and mostly remember the story from the film, so I cant speak to what was "revised and expanded" although I think I recall an interview with Blatty where he said that for the film he added a lot of the more shocking language at the request of the Director, so maybe thats it, as Regan is quite potty-mouthed here.
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Holy crap! I can remember watching this as a kid in the dark. I loved being so freaked out and so scared and curious about the world and if this kind of thing can actually happen. Not much has changed in those twenty years! I'm still really curious and still love being scared, which is why I jumped at the chance to review the audio version of The Exorcist!
Not only am I excited that this is in audio but I'm super excited that the author is narrating this! He has a really interesting voice that adds to the drama of the story itself. A sense of hypnosis happened while listening to his voice which again, just adds to the zen before the horror starts. I think it's also great when authors narrate their own stories. They are the only ones that know exactly where they want the anticipation to heighten or when to add in a softness that other narrators may not pick up on.
Overall this was amazing. There are a few differences if you compare the book and the movie. Firstly is being able to get into the thoughts of the characters more. I was able to completely understand how the mother is really into making sure that Reagan is ok after her parent's divorce. She is very into Reagan's life and in the beginning of Reagan's "illness" she is trying to take Regan to everyone she can think of to get Reagan better. She even has a career opportunity that she gives up for Reagan and I don't remember any of that coming through in the movie. Being able to hear how solid and secure she is and then watching her entire self get slowly chipped away was a huge thing that I think wasn't in the movie. Chris is completely flabbergasted and at her wit's end! I could feel her tension in every part of the book, even when it seems like nothing is going on that is that crazy.
Also, there is Father Carries. He is completely unable to believe in God or Demons which creates another huge amount of tension. He's a normal guy that is just faced with some real questions in life. Something we ALL go through.
So, I was loving the story, three hours in the intensity goes from ok, this is creepy to HOLY CRAP!! IT has started!
Going back to how the narration is done I am in love with William Peter Blatty's voice. He has an almost guttural quality, or a scratchiness that totally lends itself to this type of book. At times his voice could be soothing and welcoming or sounding completely insane! He easily transformed between the two. The only downside is that the second narrator, Eliana Shaskan, only had small parts. I think it may have added even more if she voiced more female parts but it didn't really take away from the story because (yet again I'm gushing here) William Peter Blatty was amazing!
As the story intensifies I did notice quite a few of the scenes were in the movie. I was pleasantly surprised because these became the iconic scenes and statements. Like when Linda Blair's head does a 360, or when the demon is calling Regan a sow. All of the gruesomeness that I loved in the movie was there, and more! It's a lot to pack into a two hour movie but just enough for a book. The intensity does ratchet up quite a bit but there are some down times to the plot. Kinderman is trying to figure out the crime while the priest is trying to be a psychiatrist, and the people in the house are dealing with this gruesome being that used to be a sweet little girl.
Audiobook purchased for review by the ABR.
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I've seen the movie many times, and decided to listen to the book based on other reviews. I couldn't agree more, William Peter Blatty is an AMAZING narrator. This is possibly the best audio performance I've ever heard. He brings the characters to life and managed to actually be scary, even with a story that I was already well-familiar with.
There were a couple things about the psychiatric theories of the day that were maybe a little dated, but apart from that small quibble it was a great, compelling story that kept me listening right from the start.
I find the movie to be one of the all time best horror movie, and I was not sure if book would live up to the expectation. I have to conclude that book brings depth and detail to the story that complements the movie well. Compare to movie, it seems that book takes a long time to get to the conclusion that an exorcist was needed. The banter between the demon and priest during the vetting process was particularly bone chilling. The intelligence shown by the demon was not particularly this evident in the movie. I did feel the hate of an entity that wanted to destroy life. I can only image what impact it would have had on people when book first came out. Book had several shocking scene that I believe were not in book. Also, I think that profanity and hate was toned down in movie compare to the book. Finally, once the exorcism started, book takes it to another level, and all of this has more impact due to the buildup from the beginning.
This has to be the top narrated book by an author. Narrator was able to depict the malevolence, and hate of the demon as well as gentle care of a mother. I am very impressed with narration. Though, I kept the narration speed at 1.25.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for supernatural horror. Book brings something new even for readers who have seen the movie.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
Guess, I will get blasted for this, but someone has got to tell it as it is. Just buy the movie. The movie is scary. This is long and boring. This was more a study in psychiatry then anything else. A lot of the story dealt with the life of the divorced, actress mother. My biggest horror was seeing the rating and the reviews after I read the book. Someone needs to exorcise these reviews.
Narrator was great. I was expecting to hear complaints about the author reading his own work, but I was with everyone on this one, they guy has a scary voice.
I have seen this movie- who hasn't? But I saw it when I was a teenager and didn't remember much aside from the grosser parts of the film. The book was a surprise- not really a horror book at all, sure it was really creepy in parts- and there were lots of gross bits, but more of a character study with a lot of good vs.evil. I thought it was really interesting --very well written and William Peter Blatty did such a great job reading. He really brought the characters to life. So glad that I listened!
Scary, psychological, intense
Chris, the mother. I found her so compelling. It really forced me to think about what I would do if I was put in her situation.
I haven't listened to other performances. His voice was exceptional and I'd favor hearing him read again.
There were a couple times I had to stop listening and take a break for a day or so because it was too much. It's pretty rare for me to have such a strong reaction, but this book gave me chills, thrills, and nightmares.
Not for the faint of heart, but a classic horror tale that everyone should experience in their lifetime.
Given this novel was written in the early 1970s, the story holds up very well. The key characters are developed well and the suspenseful story unfolds at a satisfying pace. The ending seemed a bit rushed and uninterpreted, which might be what Blatty intended. That said, it was still a fine ending. I would recommend it to anyone.
Merrin. His calm and confident demeanor arrived at a key time in the story. The insights he shared with Karras put a lot of the demonic chaos in perspective and explained how evil can hide in quieter, more insidious ways in everyone's lives.
Blatty brings to the characters' conversations intonations that carry additional meaning. The reader might not catch the additional weight of some words.